clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BYU Basketball Notebook, 6/29: Recruiting, New Coaches, Schedule, and More

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Brigham Young Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Usually my basketball notebooks are focused on recruiting, but for this one I’ll open it up to BYU basketball overall. Below are some of my thoughts and things I’m hearing.

Who is gonna fill the last scholarship?

BYU has 12 of its 13 scholarships filled for the coming season, so an immediate need to is to fill the final spot. I believe BYU will get a guy that can play the four. BYU needs more frontcourt depth and someone with lateral mobility that can play alongside guys such as Aly Khalifa and Fousseyni Traore.

Lithuanian Forward Petras Padegimas is the top guy in focus. He told me last week he planned to make a decision by July 1. He took a visit to Boston College this week, putting him at 3 official visits since he de-committed from UCF (BYU, Dayton, Boston College). If July 1 is still his deadline, we’ll know by Saturday if BYU has its final spot filled.

More realistically, I think that date could be pushed back. Without going into many details in respect to Petras, there may be some unfortunate things out of Petras’ control that could delay where he ends up. I know BYU would like to have Petras and Petras is a big fan of BYU and the coaching staff, but I’m less optimistic he ends up at BYU than I was a week ago. Cody Fueger has been running point on Petras’ recruitment, according to Petras’ camp, and Petras’ family has built a great relationship there.

So if no Petras, where does BYU go?

BYU is in a unique spot. The aggressive route would be to continue to hang tight until August and see what grad transfers continue to trickle in. The window to enter the portal closed May 15, but graduate transfers can still enter without sitting out. Not many will enter over the next 6 weeks or so, but there will be a handful of guys that go in after finishing summer school classes.

I say that’s the aggressive route because that’s where BYU could get the biggest difference maker. However, you don’t know who is going to enter and if don’t get anybody, then you’re left with guys that probably aren’t difference makers. So BYU will definitely keep tabs on the portal and can afford to wait and see at least a few more weeks, but the portal can’t be your only source of potential players.

More realistically, I think BYU gets an international player. I won’t divulge many names out of respect to my sources and the players, but one guy I’m keeping an eye on his Andy Sigiscar. The 6-foot-10 forward from France is uber-athletic with gaudy physical traits. Depending how his TOEFL score comes out (English language exam), BYU could be in the mix here. Sources close to Andy told me he had a Zoom call with BYU coaches last month.

The dead period starts after July 4, but potential recruits/transfers can still take official visits on weekends in the month of July.

BYU Can Add Two New Assistant Coaches

Back in February, I wrote about a little-talked about rule change that will allow Men’s and Women’s basketball programs to hire two additional assistants. The rule change goes into affect July 1.

Currently, Men’s and Women’s basketball staffs can include three full-time assistants, a director of basketball operations, and graduate assistants. The NCAA’s new rule approved in January allows two additional assistant coaches for Men’s and Women’s Basketball, meaning teams can have five assistants.

“The Council supported an increase of two coaches in men’s and women’s basketball. These additional coaches may engage in coaching activities but may not recruit off campus.”

While these two additional coaches can’t recruit off-campus, they can be part of skill instruction, game planning, scouting, on-campus recruiting, and will be on the bench during games.

A name I mentioned back then and one I’ll say again here is Mark Fox. There’s too many connections with Mark Pope to not mention his name. Fox was fired at Cal this last season after four dismal seasons that ended in a 3-29 year. Fox and Pope are very close, going back over 30 years. Fox was an assistant coach at Washington when Pope was a player, and he gave Pope his first coaching job at Georgia over a decade ago. They’ve remained close since their days at Washington and Fox is one of Pope’s greatest coaching mentors along with Pitino. If Fox does end up at BYU, he would bring a lot of coaching experience and knowledge to the staff. Fox has been a head coach at Nevada, Georgia, and Cal.

Several quality coaches are interested, and I think we could find out as soon as next week who the new coaches will be.

BYU’s 2023-2024 Schedule

The SEC this week released their conference pairings for the coming season, and I’m anxiously awaiting the Big 12’s reveal of what opponents BYU will play. BYU will play an 18 game Big 12 schedule. They’ll play 8 teams one time and 5 teams twice. Iowa State is expected to be one of the teams BYU plays twice.

As far as non-conference goes, I know about 9 of the 13 non-conference games as well as the exhibition game. Below is the known schedule.

11/1 (Exhibition) — vs Life Pacific (Home)

11/10 — San Diego State (Home)

11/18 — Morgan State (Home)

11/23 & 11/24 — Vegas Showdown, two games among ASU, NC State, and Vanderbilt

12/1 — vs Fresno State (SLC)

12/5 — Evansville (Home)

12/9 — at Utah (Road)

12/16 — Georgia State (Home)

TBD — Denver (Home)

Other news and notes

  • BYU’s coaching staff has been travelling this offseason. A LOT. In a one-week span last week, Mark Pope was in Seattle, Egypt, and Texas. He was in Seattle and Texas for recruiting events, and in Egypt to see Aly Khalifa and his family.
  • In case you’re worried about Collin Chandler not being at BYU once he gets home from his mission next year, here he is last week. This is from his missionary Instagram account managed by his family.